March 10th 2020 | Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh


Conference Theme

Inspiring Interest in STEM

Conference strands:

  • Excellence
  • Inspiration
  • Equity
  • Connection


Registration, Exhibition, & Networking


Welcome from the Chair

Chelsea Jarvie, Cyber Security Consultant and STEM Ambassador

Session 1

Implementing Scotland’s STEM Strategy

Scotland’s STEM Strategy was designed to deliver excellent STEM education and training, close equity gaps, encourage collaboration, and inspire interest in STEM. In this opening session, we explore the progress that has been made in the first two years to implement the STEM Strategy – exploring the challenges and solutions facing schools, colleges, and universities. 


Scottish Government Address

Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science 


Questions and discussion with the Minister 


Leadership Panel (Excellence)

In this forward-looking panel, senior leaders from Scottish schools, colleges, universities, and local government discuss the challenges and opportunities that have come from implementing the STEM Strategy – exploring the next steps for delivering excellence in STEM education and training in Scotland.  


Carrie Lindsay, Executive Director of Education and Children's Services, Fife Council and President of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland
Nick Antonopoulos, Vice Principal of Research & Innovation, Edinburgh Napier University 
Grant Ritchie, Principal, Dundee and Angus College
Dr Paul Thomson, Rector, Jordanhill School


Neil McLennan, Senior Lecturer and Director of Leadership Programmes, University of Aberdeen


Refreshments, Exhibition, & Networking

Session 2

Breakout Sessions

In a series of 45-minute parallel sessions, delegates will explore some of the fantastic work already happening across the country to deliver excellent STEM education.

You will select two out of the three breakout sessions to attend prior to the event.

Breakout A

Case Study 1: Developing STEM Capital in Primary Schools Through Partnership Projects (Excellence, Inspiration)

  • Innovative approaches to developing Science and STEM capital in a primary setting
  • Partnership working across schools, further education and industry
  • Approaches to engaging children in STEM careers

David Rigmand, Principal Teacher, Brediland Primary 
Paul Tyler, Principal Teacher (Acting), Kirkhill Primary School


Case Study 2: Young STEM Leader Programme (Inspiration, Connection)

Graeme Rough, Project Manager: Young STEM Leader Programme

Chair: Chelsea Jarvie, Cyber Security Consultant and STEM Ambassador

Breakout B

Case Study 1: Robots in the Classroom (Excellence, Inspiration)

Colin McLean, Headteacher, James Gillespie’s Primary School 


Case Study 2: STEM Academy – Launching a Training Academy Initiative to Broaden Teacher and School Students’ Exposure to STEM Subjects (Inspiration) 

Dr Margaret Ritchie, Lecturer in Chemistry, Associate Tutor in Education, University of Glasgow and Teacher Co-ordinator, Royal Academy of Engineering 

Chair: Bill Magee, DigiComms Advisory/BizTech Columnist

Breakout C

Roundtable Discussion

This interactive session is your opportunity to network and learn from fellow delegates. Your discussions will be led by worksheets on each table that tease out the challenges and possible solutions to improve STEM education in Scotland. 

To get the most out of these interactive discussions, the worksheet responses will be compiled and anonymously distributed along with the presentation slides after the conference. 

Chair: Craig Kelly, Senior Event Producer, Holyrood 


First breakout




Second breakout


Lunch, Exhibition, & Networking

Session 3

Themed Panel Sessions

Building on the earlier Breakout Sessions, delegates will hear from a range of experienced panellists drawn from across the public sector as they exchange good practice and discuss innovative solutions to common challenges facing schools, colleges, and universities when delivering STEM education.  

In advance of the conference, you will register for two of the three panel sessions. 

Panel A: Grow, Nurture, and Keep STEM Talent (Inspiration, Equity)


Abigail Marks, Professor of Work and Employment, University of Stirling 
Tom Harley, Education Programme Manager, Skills Development Scotland
Joanna Maclean, Head of elearning and Professional Learning, Kelvinside Academy

Chair: Chelsea Jarvie, Cyber Security Consultant and STEM Ambassador

Panel B: Supporting the Curriculum Through Science Engagement (Connection, Excellence) 


Kraig Brown, Partnerships & Development Manager, Digital Xtra Fund 
Jane Cerexhe, Headteacher, Oakgrove Primary School
Frances Docherty, Lecturer in Chemistry, University of Glasgow

Chair: Dr Margaret Ritchie, Lecturer in Chemistry, Associate Tutor in Education, University of Glasgow and Teacher Co-ordinator, Royal Academy of Engineering 

Panel C: Enabling Digital Classrooms: Using Educational Technology to Inspire an Interest in STEM (Inspiration, Excellence)


Stephen Phee, Headteacher, St Mungo's High School
Tracy Atkinson, Teaching Fellow in Digital Education, University of Strathclyde 
Damian Nicholas, (Acting) Head Teacher, St John Paul II Primary School
Tommy Lawson, Education Officer (Digital Learning), Learning Technology Team, Midlothian Council 

Chair: Bill Magee, DigiComms Advisory/BizTech Columnist


First parallel panel 




Second parallel panel


Refreshments, Exhibition, & Networking

Session 4

Full STEM Ahead

Our journey has taken us through the STEM Strategy, robotics, and educational technology, exploring how we can create positive STEM role models, and how schools can best engage with them.

In this inspiring final session, we hear from internationally-renowned physicist, climate scientist, and broadcaster, Helen Czerski.


KEYNOTE ADDRESS: A physicist’s guide to life on Planet Earth

The word “career” leads us to expect a nice tidy story about how someone got to where they are.  But that’s not how the world works, and Helen thinks there are better ways to talk about the decision of how to spend each day.  Studying physics has given her one perspective on Planet Earth and our global ocean, but the cultural perspective that goes with it is just as important.  Helen will talk about perspective, the big picture, and the links between physics and culture. 

Helen Czerski, Physicist, Oceanographer, Broadcaster 


Questions & discussion


Closing Remarks

Chelsea Jarvie, Cyber Secutiry Consultant and STEM Ambassador


Close of event